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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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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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SKULLS, THE:
Therapy for the Shy: CD
Hot on the heels of their 7" release on Headline comes this full-length, the first ever from this recently reformed punk band. For those not in the know, this band was one of the first wave of punk bands (along with the Weirdos, Germs, Controllers, Bags, Screamers and others) from Los Angeles and who later mutated into Wall of Voodoo. To be found here are re-recordings of classics like "Kill Me Kill Me Kill," "Incomplete Suicide," "Victims" and others, as well as some choice new material. The band sounds tight, pissed, and hungry, like a punk band should and the tracks are jaw-dropping, head-shaking good. To those who say no good new punk records are to be found, I say, "Fuck you, nay-saying gloomy-Gus. Here's one that'll make your toes tap and your testes vibrate with glee." Mandatory listening here, class. –jimmy (Dr. Strange)


SKINLESS:
4-song: 7" EP
My exposure to speed metal, ever since the '80s crossover debacle, has been limited. I hated DRI and COC becoming hair shakers and riffing out, but I didn't mind Slayer's stuff up until God Hates Us All. Go figure. Imagine Slayer circa Rein in Blood with a goat getting his nuts hammered by a circus mallet, a goblin doing the backup screams, and some slight rhyming going on. Ultimately, I don’t know what's scarier – Skinless' claim of "never ending pain" or their business acumen to release a demo as a 7" with "a twenty second exposition of the finest moments" on their upcoming album. Anywho, the die cut cover looks fuckin' cool. Looks like an H.R. Geiger throwing star. –todd (Hater of God)


SIXER:
Beautiful Trash: CD
I heard this band on the last TKO Punch Drunk comp, so I vaguely knew what to expect. They have ex-Ann Beretta guys in their lineup and what we have here is not too far off. Sixer plays mid-tempo punk with emphasis on rock. Unfortunately, I can’t say that I liked this CD. The songs have a lack of hooks, making them unmemorable. They also seem to bypass catchiness for an almost underlying rock sound. There are a few of the songs that hit the mark, most notably “Get Well Card,” but overall it leaves me uninterested. This CD kind of reminds me of a second rate version of The Dragons. Nothing terrible, but nothing spectacular either. I’ll pass. –Mike Dunn –Guest Contributor (BYO)


SEWERGROOVES, THE:
Revelation Time: CD
Sweden produces an amazing amount of bands for a country of its size. Maybe I’m biased, but I never seem to go wrong when the band originates from that country. Here is a band I haven’t heard for a few years, but I am glad they are still rocking strong. The music is straight-to-the-balls rock and roll with tinges of garage, southern, and ‘60s to this reviewer’s ear. No frills and no bullshit. With the current state of rock released by the majors being stagnant and packaged, it’s hard for me to listen to that crap. With a band like this, the energy of punk is displayed with its raw and genuine energy. The songwriting has improved since the last time I listened to this band, with the addition of a more permanent lineup. A minor historical note is that the drummer for the Hellacopters played drums for this band in early incarnation. I believe since the hype in major music magazines is so big right now for the Hives and the International Noise Conspiracy, which both originate out of Sweden, these guys could be also have greater exposure to the world. –don (Low Impact)


SELF DEFENSE:
Shooting Punk Terror: 7"
Packaging can make or break an unknown band in regards to impulse purchase. This band sold me by the effort put in by its label. It's a nice silk screened cover with a silk screened band that wraps it. It's on yellow with white swirled colored vinyl and has a  large glossy insert. In this case though, I was influenced by the package and a good reference from a friend. Musically, as I see the trend, punk bands are slowing it down a tiny notch and playing more of an '80s style of hardcore, this band included. The first band that popped into my head was the Nihilistics and adding their own touch of fury. Raw, fast, and agitated punk that makes you grit your teeth while you go along for the ride. –todd (Uncle Slam)


ROSEMARY’S BILLYGOAT:
Evilution: CD
Cartoonish, theatrical Satan rock in the vein of Gwar or Marilyn Manson, only without as catchy of a gimmick. –jimmy (Porterhouse)


REPLICATOR:
Untitled: CDEP
All hail Replicator! A simply packaged CD with nothing but a big black "R" to separate you from this holy disc. I could make a ton of comparisons to the likes of Shellac (all hail as well!), The Jesus Lizard, even Helmet, but melding perfectly placed samples, toys and keyboard bits, and the urge to hail the devil – and you have Replicator. No, they aren't Satanic, unfortunately, but they take on a slightly evil, and in a geeky way, a trashy form of evil political masterminding sneaky devilishness. The first track, "Validation Complex," is a blasting rock instrumental - quick drum beats, all that tasty off-time "math rock" shit we geeky-rock fans love to eat up. Next comes the aptly titled "Bawkbakawk Bawkbagone." Drummer Chris Bolig's strong and oh-so manly "I'm in control here” beats work perfect with vocalist/guitarist Conan Neutron's (yes, Neutron) blood curdling and oh so passionate wails and fuzzy guitar. By the end of the song I'm already playing air drums. That is a good sign. This fab droning keyboard slips itself in when you least expect it, adding to the evilness. Spooky! At times it has the feel of "The Billiard Player" by Shellac, until this evil fucking metal breakdown comes in. This is when you hail. "CAP Vehicle Retirement Application" automatically gives the feel of viva-la-revolution. Prof. Ben Adrian's (engineered/mixed the record, too, at his Feedback Loop studio) finger-pointing bass leads most of the song. Conan better watch out that he doesn't break a capillary with his screeching "We ain't talkin' labor…" We finally end with "Epoch," an earth-shaking track lead in by kick-ass distorted guitar and one loud-as-hell, kickass bass line; a monumental end that will have school children knocking over their desks and burning their homework. Replicator asks, "How can you sleep?" Fuck sleep! All hail the Bay Area's three-piece monster rock gods, Replicator! –Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Replicator)


REIGNING SOUND:
Time Bomb High School: CD
Imagine Manfred Mann with more balls. –jimmy (In The Red)


RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS:
By the Way: CD
Even though I bought this on sale, I wasted ten bucks. –don (Warner Brothers)


RAPTURE, THE:
Out of the Races and onto the Tracks: CDEP
The Rapture went from The Cure to Gang of Four. It's a quick twenty minutes chock full of death disco and noisy pop songs. The shrill vocals have stuck. They lost a member, gained a member, and continue on as a three piece (minus keyboards) with a raw guitar, throbbing uber-manly bass lines, and clean, mesmerizing drums. The title track will have crazy kids dancing crazy dances all over. On to track two. In "Modern Romance," the bass line pulls you in, suddenly breaks, and sloppy guitars all lead to an at-times dragging, yet still surprising tune. "Caravan" and "The Jam" are the most painful. They leave me staring off at the walls and waiting for something exciting. I love some good noise, but these two are the songs I'd groan and moan about if they played them live. Boohoo. "The Pop Song" shows the '60s psych influence - and if the vocals don't cut glass, diamonds might not do the trick. Despite my lack of attention or interest in "Caravan" and "The Jam" the final track, "Confrontation" is a favorite. Four minutes of one killer fucking bass line and a lot of moaning and groaning. Reminds me a bit of the last track on the Liars full length, This Dust Makes That Mud. If you're not nodding your head up and down in submissiveness by the end of this song, then you must be deaf. –Sarah Stierch –Guest Contributor (Sub Pop)


RADIO WITH GUTS, A:
Beat Heart Sweet Stereo: CD
I was charged to get this. I still like to dork out to a vast majority of The Connie Dungs catalog (which all three members of this band were in). The lyrics could be a little self-depreciating, but I can't deny that their CDs play like a darker, smarter, less pretend-shocking Queers. Easy-to-digest sadness would be one way to put it, like hard candy in the shapes of skulls instead of hearts. A Radio With Guts is fronted by the distinctive, old cartoon/ bottle of whisky wavering voice of Brandon Dung. (Like, say, if Huckleberry Hound was doing a Muddy Waters impression, which is not a bad thing in my book.) Getting to the point – I didn't expect to say this – but I really don't like this album and have a hard time listening to it all the way through each time I've sat down to listen to it carefully. It's vastly more "singer/song writer"ly, and like later Replacements albums became little more than Paul Westerberg solo projects with instrumental accompaniment, it'd probably be okay if I didn't have any earlier work to compare it to. It seems that Brandon's found about ten different effects pedals for his voice – from watery to scratchy to warbling – and every single beat and strum is controlled by the tempo of the voice. I just don't find it compelling. Sure, it's recorded really well, but the songs themselves aren't that catchy and, against my best efforts, I just want the album to end. –todd (Stardumb, PO Box 21145, 3001 AC Rotterdam, The Netherlands; <www.stardumbrecords.com>))


RADAR SECRET SERVICE:
Stop Communication: CD
The sound of Joy Division and similarly gloomy Gusses, punked up just right to make this a dandy listen. These guys would’ve made a huge splash on “New Wave Theatre” twenty-one years ago. Peter most assuredly would’ve even asked ’em “What’s the meaning of life?” on the air, and the latest Genkel Works product would’ve been theirs for the asking. A definite keeper. –jimmy (On/On Switch)


PUNCH IN THE FACE:
Self-titled: 7"
This will be one of the hottest, sought after punk releases this year. This band features Ebro from Charles Bronson/Los Crudos fame on vocals. Also, it is being released by Martin (Los Crudos/ Limp Wrist) on Lengua Armada. That alone should get you little punkers out there purchasing. I listened to this thing and a weird sense of familiarity came over me. I immediately recognized track two on side A, "Beer Cold, TV Loud, Homosexuals Flaming," but couldn’t remember who originally played it. It drove me nuts! I dove into my record collection and could not find the source. I know this song. I think it’s from an ‘80s comp that I have. Are the other songs covers too? I am perplexed and I know I have to go to the punk encyclopedia himself, my brother. If he doesn’t know, I’m fucking crazy. I went to my brother's and played him the track and he said it sounded like Mecht Mensch or Koro. He went to his vaults and pulled out the EPs. We listened to both and the sound is similar but it’s not the exact song. I felt defeated and went back home. I dug through the collection again for hours. No luck. I looked through my music index one more time and it struck me once I saw Suburban Voice. PITF was on the SV comp No Sleep for Hardcore and played the exact song. I forgot that this comp was on regular rotation in my CD player for a few months. I feel so stupid. My mind is rotting and time has become a blur. –don (Lengua Armada)


PITCH BLACK:
Self-titled: CD
Horror punk coming out of the East Bay featuring ex-members of the Nerve Agents and Screw 32, which really didn’t show up in the their sound. Let me start by saying I didn’t care for this very much. I have no problem with bands going for the horror thing, but the band didn’t do it for me musically. In fact, the best part of the CD was the artwork (cool cover courtesy of their singer) and lyrical content (horror themes, duh!). Musically Pitch Black play punk borderline on hardcore at times with goth interludes here and there. The songs generally had dreary intros with melodic guitar work throughout, which was alright musically, but unfortunately there was nothing that stood out. What really killed it for me, though, were the vocals. The singer sounds like a younger, higher pitched version of Rudimentary Peni's Nick Blinko. I found his voice both distracting and annoying at times. No thanks. –Mike Dunn –Guest Contributor (Revelation)


PILOT SCOTT TRACY:
self-titled: CD-R demo
Emerging from the robes of The Causey Way (see Razorcake #1 for full interview), with front man and collaborating main co-songwriters, Scott and Tracy, there are traces of the old project transmogrified into something more slinking, sultry, and openly playful. The only thing I don't like is the name of the band. It comes across as way too emo for my tastes (like the name Pilot to Gunner). Yet, don't let that be too distracting. If you like new wave in the vein of Servotron, with music more suitable for slipping your hand under a special someone's underthings, instead of killing humans (Servotron's call to arms), while openly inviting the use of a synthesizer, you can't go wrong. Both Scott (ex-Causey himself) and Tracy have sexy android, almost hypnotic trances of voices and it doesn't hurt things one iota that they cover ground from intergalactic surf, to the state controlling your monkey brain, to what could be readings from children's books with equal grace, hummable vibration, and authority. Excellent, hard-to-categorize but fun-to-listen-to music. –todd (Pilot Scott Tracy)


PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES:
The Mating Sounds of South American Frogs: CD
Strange how some albums can bring back a flood of memories and moods in flashes, much like smells sometimes do. This, like Husker Du’s New Day Rising (hell, who am I kidding? Change that to all of Husker’s releases), reminds me of long ago summers. Flashes of long won (and lost) fights, lost loves, my younger brother putting this on for the first time in my aunt’s basement in Spokane and feeling cheated ’cause it wasn’t as “hard” as Banned form the Pubs and then having it turn into one of the most played albums in the collection throughout the '80s, driving around in a big-ass car covered from roof to tires with assorted graffiti just begging to get pulled over by a pig looking for someone to fuck with, and long-ago gigs in long forgotten backyards are all tied to the songs contained on this, the band’s second album. Like Husker Du, this album is up to its eyeballs in hooks and catchy guitar bits (maybe not as overdriven, densely packed and played as Bob Mould’s famous noodling, but there nonetheless), yet manages to maintain more than enough edge to leave no doubt in the listener’s mind that this is a punk rock record made by a decidedly punk band. Lyrically, this ain’t the Clash or anything, but Peter does get his point across succinctly and the music is so damn good that it doesn’t really matter in the long run. My only gripe is that the album version of “Blown Out Again” has been deleted and the single version included twice. Aside from that, no complaints from this end of the world. Easily one of the best punk records ever released. Consider this mandatory listening, kiddies. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES:
Loud Blaring Punk Rock: CD
Their third album sees PTTB taking a step backward from the complexity of “Mating Sounds of South American Frogs” and instead nicking another band’s set and adding some of their oldies, all in an apparent attempt to ride the wave of good press surrounding them at the time by keeping the releases coming. The results are for the most part good, with some classic tracks that live up to the album’s title and only a few clunkers. Although it was recorded later, the stuff here is more akin to Banned from the Pubs than The Jinx, so if you’re looking for their more poppy stuff, you’re better off picking up the next in the series of reissues, Soberphobia. For those of you who don’t give a toss about dynamics and hooks and just want some good, old-fashioned punk rock, you couldn’t ask for more. –jimmy (Captain Oi)


PAYBACKS, THE:
Knock Loud: CD
Loud, raucous rock’n’roll steeped in Detroit hooks. Kinda reminds me a teeny bit of old Cheap Trick every now and then. –jimmy (Get Hip)


PANIC:
Get Well: CD
From one of the premier labels in the UK comes another great pop punk release. I hear great melody that puts me into pop bliss. What I love about Crackle releases are that they do not have overblown production and yet sound recorded in a garage. A mixture of, I would say, a stronger sounding Queers, Groovie Ghoolies and Screeching Weasel. In fact, I’m blown away by hearing some slight British accent in the vocals; it makes the music more appealing to me. With that, it blows away so many bands here in the states that play the same genre of music. I think this is the perfect moment to check out this band since this is their third release and you don’t have to go through the growing pains. Also, the covers geek in me really appreciated the Men at Work cover of "Overkill!" –don (13$ ppd to Crackle!)


OZMA:
The Double Donkey Disc: CD
Caca poo-poo college rock. Kinda punky, mostly poopy. –jimmy (Kung Fu)


OXYMORON:
Best Before 2000: CD
Re-released for those without a turntable or plain missed out, are tracks from early 7"s, splits, and comp tracks. These long-running
German street
punks know how to make a great bunch of music. Melodic and tight, they carry the oi flag with pride. Everything that I have heard from them in the past has been really good. This is no exception. I would highly recommend this because you get to hear the progression of talent. It also includes a video clip! –don (GMM)


OUT TO WIN:
Persist and Destroy: CD
I’m older than a lot of you and I don’t consider this hardcore. This is straight up metal that is similar to having a wrestler bash a steel folding chair on your head. The riffs are heavy and the double bass drums drop low tones into the chest. The vocals are so harsh that a blood vessel broke in my own eye. My only complaint I have of this release is that it only has six songs. The metal in me went into withdrawals after this ended. Might not be your cup of tea, but the hair on my head wanted to grow for this one. –don (Triple Crown)


OUR WAR:
If You’re Not Already: CD
Pretty decent straight edge crew-core with some lyrics that are pretty fuckin’ lame. –jimmy (Deranged)


NO GOOD HEROES:
Radio Rebelde: CD
You know, in another world I would probably adore Rancid, as so much of what they do is right up my alley. As things have turned out, however, I wish they’d break up so all their lame clones would fuck off and quit polluting the planet with twenty-third generation Clash posing. –jimmy (Insurgence)


NEUROTIC SWINGERS:
What’s Your Definition of Underground?: CD
Another new band tries to recapture that old punk rock energy and sound and fail miserably. Let’s have a hand for consistency! –jimmy (Lollipop)


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