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· 5:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79


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Razorcake #79
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Spokenest: We Move 12"EP

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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MORNING SHAKES, THE:
XXX-plode with the Sounds of Sex, Booze and Sin!: LP
...i’m not sure if it’s a testament to this defunct ‘90s outfit’s latent greatness or more of an indictment of today’s vendors of the Stinky Garage Molecule that a band which sounded “good” but not overly raveworthy six-seven years ago now comes off as substantially above average (“SUBSTANTIALLY ABOVE AVERAGE!” My devotion knows no bounds!) in most regards. Singles tracks, album tracks, the ever-popular “lost tracks” and some keen covers by a band who never met a New Bomb Turks song recorded in Billy Childish’s bedroom they didn’t like – i just hope when i die somebody can cobble together a package this useful out of my spare parts. BEST SONG: i got to go with the Dicks cover here, but if they would have thought to medley “Thunderbird ESQ” into “Stealing People’s Mail” i would say that. BEST SONG TITLE: “Devious Means,” outside authorship be hanged! FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: This is one of two Rockin’ Bones releases reviewed this month which sports a Zero Boys cover. Indianapolis: New Centre of the Universe! –Rev. Norb (Rockin’ Bones)


MONSTERS, THE:
Youth Against Nature: CD
Wacked-out garage punk from a Swiss three-man band featuring Swiss one-man band Lightning Beat-Man. That, and a wide-eyed, cough-syruped, fuzz-addled blast down some weird highway from snow-blind northern Europe to a smoky roadhouse outside New Orleans in a car full of psychopaths on concrete tires. –Cuss Baxter (Voodoo Rhythm)


MODERN MACHINES:
Thwap!: LP
The first time I listened to this record, I thought it was just okay. Not great, not bad. I would’ve passed on it, but Maddy Tight Pants really loves the Modern Machines, and since I tend to agree with Maddy’s musical tastes most of the time, I figured that I’d give this record another chance. I took it home and, over the past two months, I’ve listened to it dozens of times. After all of these repeated listens, the songs started to separate in my head. I could better recognize the subtleties of the parts. I could pick out parts where the Replacements influence crept in. “Run It” has some nice echoes of the Big Boys. The heavy Hüsker Dü influence is just about everywhere, and that’s not a bad thing. I could hear where they were trying to branch out in different directions. And, in the end, I’ve decided that this album is great. And it’s bad. And it’s just okay. By that, I mean that four or five songs off of this album would make a great EP. Alternately, a few of these songs should’ve stayed in the practice room a bit longer before they were recorded. And the record is just okay when they have a song like “Radio Tower” which is going along great, then does a quick tempo change and launches into a part where the singer says he’s gonna fly, and I stop paying attention. I think that the Modern Machines have a good starting point. I think they’ll get better. For the time being, though, I’d rather listen to The Crowd song they’re named after than listen to this record. –Sean Carswell (Onion Flavored)


MISTAKE, THE:
Fuck Everything Up: CD
One of those chonka-chonka metal bands that plays their guitars nipple-high so that they can get the right chonka-chonka sound. According to the lyrics, they’re going to take back the scene from all you poseurs out there. Watch out, poseurs! –Josh (Prime Directive)


MIDNIGHT CREEPS/CAPO REGIME:
Split: CD
Midnight Creeps: Annoying metal/punk that was decidedly not my cup o’ poison. Capo Regime: Hardcore that wasn’t much better. –Jimmy Alvarado (Rodent Popsicle)


MARVELS, THE:
Cheat to Win: CD
I forgot how much Staffy’s vocals sound like the Black Halos until I put them on back-to-back the other day. A few line-up changes since the last recording, but no worse for the wear. Michelle adds a nice contrast with female vocals, and she plays a pretty mean bass. This recording captures their rawness much better than the last release. Anthemic, rock’n’roll with a snotty edge. I haven’t seen them in about two years, and they still top my list of live bands. Well worth checking out. –Megan Pants (Abbey Lounge)


MARKED MEN, THE:
On the Outside: CD
What is it that makes the Marked Men so great at what they do? Is it those bass lines that pop like an adolescent (read: pre-Guns N Roses) Tommy Stinson? Is it the way they took the bright, hooky guitars from the best late ‘70s power pop bands, axed the commercial rock tendencies, and then duct-taped them onto ninety-second punk rock songs? Is it the creative drumming that somehow never goes into Neil Peart territory? I don’t know. All I know is that they somehow found an untapped musical vein somewhere between Scared of Chaka and the FM Knives, only they’re better than both of those bands. And if you think that’s blasphemy, I’ll go one better and say that they’re the American Teengenerate. –Josh (Dirtnap)


MANIKINS, THE:
Self-titled: LP
Lo-Fi Rip Off punk that would’ve probably made for a great bunch of singles, but only manages to blur into one long drone as a full length. There are some good tunes on here, but it’s almost too much of a good thing, if you catch my drift. –Todd Taylor (Rockin’ Bones)


MALAVISTA:
Self-titled: CDEP
This one caught me by surprise. I haven’t heard anything from Malavista in a couple of years, and apparently, they’ve spent that time getting way better. This EP is five songs long, and the songs bridge the gap between ‘80s hardcore like Los Olvidados and JFA and current OrangeCounty beach punk like Smogtown and the Smut Peddlers. It’s a lot more complex than it sounds on the first listen, and, if you know how much I like all four bands I’ve just compared Malavista to, you understand how impressed I am by this EP. –Sean Carswell (Rezist)


LUBRICATED GOAT:
The Great Old Ones: CD
One time, I was at a Lubricated Goat show, and I yelled for my favorite Lubricated Goat song “Japanese Train Driver” after every song, and they never played it, and I was swimming in a sea of Milwaukee’s Best, because at that time they packed it in longnecks, and I swam home in it, and I discovered that “Japanese Train Driver” is by Grong Grong. I was terribly embarrassed. Later, singer Stu Spasm moved to New York and got stabbed in the brain. Apparently, recently, he formed a new Lubricated Goat and re-recorded several extant Lubricated Goat songs and they sound pretty good. I no longer have any of my Lubricated Goat records, so I can’t do a proper comparison, but I don’t remember Stu’s voice sounding so much like Lemmy or the guy from the Anti Nowhere League. Must’ve been the brain infection. Prime AmRep postpunk. –Cuss Baxter (Reptilian)


40 WATT DOMAIN:
Short Wave: CD
That stereotypical SoCal pop punk sound from a band that’s no doubt looking for that big break into the corporate cash cow. Look for ‘em live on the next Clear Channel tour and for this particular copy of this disc to hit the rubbish bin. –Jimmy Alvarado (Gaki)


LOUSY BREAK:
Don’t Wait for the Next Time: CD
Wow. There’s dice on the front AND back cover! Contains lyrics like: “Meet a girl drinking on a Friday night/Knowing she’ll get loose when she gets tight.” And, in the song “Fuck the French,” we’ve got, “Land of fags, wine, and cheese/A nation of pussies and chicks with dicks.” Wow. If this were a cereal, it’d be Berry Berry Kix. Yuck! –Maddy (Headache)


LOUD PIPES, THE:
LPEP: CDEP
Carbureted by Motorhead. Jetted by Thin Lizzy. Heads ported and polished by a Zeke-like efficiency on the flat track. Brakes? Removed. Insobriety? Check. Exhaust? Straight pipes, baffles removed, and can activate car alarms from a hundred yards. The Loud Pipes are a rat bike of a punk rock bar band, but the engine’s a monster, one that Poison Idea would approve of. What they give up in finesse, they’ve gained in pure, thick rubber-left-on-pavement power and fat, bruisey riffs. Not what I usually bang along to, but I tip my helmet to ‘em. –Todd Taylor (The Loud Pipes; <www.theloudpipes.com>)


LOST SOUNDS:
Demos and Outtakes Volume 2: 3 x 7” Box Set
While the terms “garage rock” and “new wave” have recently been smooshed together like a forgotten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a back pocket, and most bands affecting that pose sound like a soggy mess, the Lost Sounds have tightened the screws on the hull of their monster of sound. From the eerie subject matter – including zombies and graveyards – to the b-movie world of lost planets, to the crackling, jumpy, synth-addled, guitar tramplings, the Lost Sounds started out by inhabiting distant worlds and are now setting their eyeballs, glowing green with radiation, on this planet. The wide structure of the band – I hate to use the word “concept,” because so many concepts are too damn fruity, but that’s what it may be – is analogous to Man… or Astroman? Substituting mutant wolverine new wave in the place of intergalactic surf opuses, the band is bigger than any one isolated part. A cacophony with it toes dipped in melody. How all of the pieces come together is the really exciting part. This box set’s a perfect example. You’ve got the music – fifteen songs on three seven inches – but it doesn’t stop there. Included are also a booklet, a poster, a pin, a photograph, and a piece of candy. Much like MoAM? The Lost Sounds seem to be as interested in creating an entirely new world as much as they are with creating new songs. This collection, as the title suggests, has alternate and earlier takes on a lot of their songs. It also includes one song that had never been released before, “Chopping Block.” Awesome. Limited to 500. –Todd Taylor (Rockin’ Bones)


LOST PATROL, THE:
Songs About Running Away: CD
Who the fuck ever thought that Dennis Lyxsén would ever write an album which is just slightly to the rock side of Kings Of Convenience? These country-inflected pop songs are a far cry from The International Noise Conspiracy, much less Refused. Frankly, once this hit the CD player, I really didn’t listen to much else for this issue. While there’s nothing here as overtly political as Lyxsén’s other bands, the songs seem covertly political, primarily focusing on relationships – perhaps romantic, perhaps platonic – which are still imbued with longing and desire. This is perhaps one of the most noteworthy characteristics inherent in Lyxsén’s music – there is usually a sense of yearning for something, whether a better political future or a relationship which doesn’t yield a sense that something is still missing. One of the most interesting artistic ideas at play here is a sense that disenfranchisement, that alienation and ostracization engender a void which pulls on other areas of a life; that being removed from or marginalized in the political realm can in turn result in frustrating or unfulfilling relationships and that these frustrations can cascade throughout one’s existence, coloring everything they touch. Of course, maybe I’m just another asshole rock critic who’s reading too much into a set of pop songs … but still, it moves. –Puckett (Burning Heart)


LOCOMOTIONS:
Self-titled: CD
If you purchased ten or more records with a Born On Date of 2003 A.D. and the Locomotions LP was not among them, you are hereby charged with Contempt of Rock, and will remain in such a state until the oversight is corrected and the proper reparations are made. As some sort of a fucked-up reward for you not being on-the-ball enough to have figured things out the first time through, said album is now available on piracy-friendly CD format with two bonus tracks. I would repeat my review of last year’s vinyl at this point, but the only part i remember is the bit about DMZ locking their rabid redheaded stepchildren in the basement and them burning the house down instead of playing “Mighty Idy” – which is, realistically, all you need to know anyway. If you like punk rock and you like, say, The Pack, then if you like the garage punk thing you oughtta like the Locomotions. Surely you groove upon the whole furriners-bashing-shit-around aesthetic? ROCK AWAITS YOUR OVERDUE ACT OF CONTRITION! BEST SONG: Goddammit, i STILL say “Sigma Attack!” BEST SONG TITLE: i don’t even remember what i said last time. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The press release mistakenly refers to the song “She’s Got Her” as “She’s On Her.” Good one, Tom! –Rev. Norb (Dead Beat)


LAYMEN TERMS:
3 Weeks In: CD EP
Before the vocals kick in, the first song sounds so much like Metallica’s “One” that I can see Lars Ulrich nodding his head as he hits that tom just once before hitting the snare. Who’s showing off their classical guitar lessons, huh? –Puckett (Suburban Home)


LAHAR:
Collapsing of the Soul: CDEP
Three-song EP. Guessed the grind sound from the album title. Find the EP from the band Are You God? instead. –Speedway Randy (Wormfodder, www.odeum.org/wormfodder)


KUKL:
The Eye: CD & Holiday in Europe (The Noughty Nought): CD
Never been a fan of Bjork, but always kind of wanted to hear Kukl, her pre-SugarCubes band, as they were on Crass and that was a recommendation of sorts. Now I can, because it’s reissued. 1984’s The Eye is about what I expected: super-effected, Cure-esque guitar, arrhythmic percussion, gothic touches like donging bells, all presided over by Bjork’s grating caterwaul. The next year’s Holiday in Europe, however, makes considerable gains in terms of non-irritation: Bjork’s vocals are reigned in somewhat, the drumming shaped up, and the incidental noise fleshed out satisfyingly, giving the whole thing a tone that’s more regulated and more ethereal at the same time, like they stepped up from being pretend-weird to being actual-weird. That said, though, you’re not likely to catch me listening to Kukl again any time soon; just because it ain’t bad don’t make it good. –Cuss Baxter (One Little Indian)


KNIGHTS OF THE NEW CRUSADE:
My God Is Alive! Sorry About Yours!: CD
This has GOT to be a joke. Thirteen tracks here whose alleged sole purpose is to sing the praises of Jesus Christ and condemn the sinful state in which this world finds itself, all done up in neo-’60s garage rock. If this is, in fact, a joke, then songs like “Ain’t No Monkeys in My Family Tree,” “Dangers of Dating” and “‘E’ is for Evil” rank up there with the best works of bands like Crucial Youth and Fearless Iranians from Hell in pointed parody. If this isn’t a joke, and their music is, indeed, “the weapon in our crusade for Christ Almighty,” then Jesus’s army is in sorry shape, ‘cause it’s staggeringly hard to take seriously four guys wearing modified buckets on their heads. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.crusadenow.com)


KID606:
Who Still Kill Sound: CD
Some really good jungle and ragga remix tracks can be found on this, along with some other DJ-type madness. Sorry for such a curt review, but it’s hard to type when you’re shaking a tail feather. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.tigerbeat6.com)


JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT:
Fade to Black: CD
This is supposedly the first in a series of discs highlighting Arizona’s treasure trove of “lost” bands, and it is one hell of a way to start things off. This album, first released back in 1984, is a gem of ‘80s hardcore punk rock with a gaggle of dark, catchy-as-hell mid-tempo hardcore done up in ways one rarely hears anymore. According to the press materials, it was recorded on a two track which is mind-boggling considering how well it came out. There’s nary a lousy track to be found here, and if the album ain’t enough, a soundboard recording of a live set is tacked on the end for good measure. Now, I highly recommend that all reading this inundate Malt Soda with letters requesting that they offer up Conflict’s (the Tucson band, not the UK hippie punks) sole album, Mighty Sphincter’s Ghost Walking double EP (hell, almost anything from Placebo’s back catalog would be swell) and anything they can manage to scrape up from Soilent Green. Trust me, you’ll thank me for it later. –Jimmy Alvarado (Malt Soda)


JOHNNY CHEAPO:
Rock-N-Roll Sinner: CD
Imagine a less political Sloppy Seconds. Yes, you read that correctly –Jimmy Alvarado (Smut, no address)


JOEY CAPE/TONY SLY:
Acoustic: CD
Woohoo... Joey Cape of Lagwagon and Tony Sly of No Use For a Name do a split release of acoustic songs from their respective bands. But wait... there’s more! You get an original, new song from each person. I don’t know how excited you are but all I hope for is they give me more than a dollar worth of credit when I try to sell this to the record store. –Donofthedead ()


INTENSE MUTILATION:
Sgt. Leper’s Falling Parts Club Band: CD
Punk rock piss takes on songs by the Beatles, Slayer, Peter Paul and Mary, and others. Was about as interesting as their previous efforts a decade and a half ago, namely for about fifteen seconds. Then again, I was in a band with songs about hermaphrodites fucking themselves, so who am I to talk? –Jimmy Alvarado (www.intensemutilation.com)


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