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Razorcake #80


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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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DRIZZLE:
Self-titled: CD
The cover art screams Flogging Molly-loving pirates! The music contained within, however, sounds more like dirty Pabst-stained basement show punk rock. These guys would be at home playing shows with Scared Of Chaka, Dillinger Four, Witches With Dicks and the like. Not too shabby for a band that’s been around for over nine years (per the website).  –Mr. Z (Moresmartthanyou)


DOUBLE DAGGER:
Self-titled: CD
Double Dagger sure loves Pailhead, Drive Like Jehu, and polysyllable words… Effects on the bass guitar… emphasis on dynamics… odd time signatures. Sometimes complexity is really boring. After four songs, I had enough Double Dagger to last me a lifetime.  –Ryan Leach (Stationary Heart)


DIRTY SISTER:
Self-titled: LP
Raw garage punk with a dirty grit and a slight cow punk edge that is delivered with female vocals. Not half bad, but a sound I have heard and seen so many times through the years by many participants and in many incarnations. Recording has very live feel to it. There is a perceived brightness to the sound. A Runaways and GG Allin cover are performed for those who might get excited. Will this get multiple listens? No. But I do see an audience for this band. It just will not include me.  –Donofthedead (Cock Energy)


DIRTBOMBS, THE:
We Have You Surrounded: CD
The Dirtbombs have big brushes. They’re painting whole sides of buildings in broad swaths, not just doing detail work on a dirty toilet in the garage rock ghetto. Nick Collins is my generation’s underground answer to Otis Redding with a more ambitious selection of cover songs (Sparks, Dead Moon, a song intended for Bauhaus this time around). It’s soulful music played with such force, taste, and restraint that the one true shame is that the rest of the world is asleep at the wheel when it comes to The Dirtbombs (in a time when Stax is getting some of the notoriety it so richly deserves). Has it really been nearly twenty years since that first Gories LP? Damn, it’s a long journey from House Rockin’, and I have to say I like both of these book-ending records equally as well for completely different reasons. How many artists can you say that about? If you haven’t already checked out the Dirtbombs, the double CD of singles that In The Red released a couple years back is a good, hearty view of this band, too.  –Todd Taylor (In The Red, www.inthered.com)


DIRT MALL:
Got the Goat by the Horns: CD
Boy, these dudes wanna be rockers. They sure are trying to convince everyone, but it just ain’t workin’. This is pseudo hard rock with no guts and no grit—squeaky-clean vocals and wimpy guitars that just has to be made by current or ex-indie rockers. Ironic band name and ironic record title ought to be enough to give this one away. Not rock, not roll, just dull clean wallpaper.  –Mike Frame (www.daykamprecords.com)


DEMENTED ARE GO:
The Day the Earth Spat Blood: CD
This band sounds insane. The singer growls and cackles over drums that sound like they’re coming from some cobweb-covered tomb somewhere. The guitar is a bearded hydra breathing fire into every shadowy corner that the bass rumbles around in. Unnerving asylum laughter and multi-personality ramblings ebb and flow out of songs at random points. At times, it sounds like it’s standing behind you, just waiting for an opportunity to put its thick hands on your head and crush your skull, not even understanding how serious the crime it’s committing really is. The reissue of this psychobilly album from ‘89 comes with a bonus live set that was previously released in ‘90. –MP Johnson (Cherry Red)


DEMENTED ARE GO:
In Sickness & In Health/Kicked out of Hell: CD/CD
Most known musically for their scratching vocals, deliberate and twangy guitar, and disciplined bass control, DAG are one of the founding members of British psychobilly. Mark Philips’ heavily partied, panty-creaming, baritone voice is one of the most imitated today. They pushed the envelope on gory and perverse lyrical content and perplexed audiences with their often gender-bending appearance. In Sickness & In Health is their first long-player, released in 1986 on ID Records. It includes favorites like “Pervy in the Park,” “(I Was Born A) Busted Hymen,” “Holy Hack Jack,” “Rubber Love,” and “Don’t Go in the Woods.” Kicked out of Hell is a reissue of their second full-length album, originally released in 1988, also on ID. Includes standards like “Satan’s Rejects,” “Cripple in the Woods,” and “Cast Iron Arm,” and some of my own favorites, “Shadow Crypt,” “Old Black Joe,” and “Vietnam.” Both albums are excellent reminders that psychobilly is a culmination of a decades of influences and musical talent beyond merely sick, sloppy, fast, and out of control.  –Jessica Thiringer (Anagram/Cherry Red)


DEATH BECOMES EVEN THE MAIDEN:
The Arrangement: CD
Nice mix of arty punk and new wavy pop here. Tunes are diverse enough not to blend into one long drag and you can hear the work the band put into this.  –Jimmy Alvarado (www.viedevantsoi.com)


DEATH RAY, THE:
Twelve Gauge Blues: CD
Monotone punky rock music. The vocalist basically sings the same note through the entire twelve tracks. Yeesh. It’s a bad sign when you’re checking the tracklist to see when the album ends. –Guest Contributor (DTK)


DEADNECK FURY:
Something’s Going Wrong: CD
Some pretty upbeat, sing-along punk here. Kind of gruff sounding vocals and a lot of talk of working class this and that. Generic topics to say the least, but let’s be honest; is anyone really looking to this type of punk rock for new ideas? Doubtful. Is this a fun disc to listen to? Absolutely. Except for all that Celtic/pirate nonsense. I hate that shit. You’re either a blue collar guy who works hard to eke by or you’re a pirate guy out there swindling and stealing or such. Not both. Lose the accordion, boys!  –Ty Stranglehold (www.deadneckfury.com)


DEAD BETTIES, THE:
Destination I Do: 7"
Nine times out of ten, when you put a 7” on your record player and listen through the song on the first side, your chances of guessing what the other side will sound like are pretty good. This band, however, whose the press release says has “already received attention from a number of press outlets (Out Magazine, The Deli, etc.),” seems to have no problem making a radical departure between side A and side B. Unfortunately, they depart from Awesome Town and go to Crap Land. “Malls of the Midwest” is a rollicking, grating, stomping, shouting, and maddening piece of rock that leaves one wanting more, more, more! What I got when I flipped to the other side was a by-the-numbers indie rock whiner. –MP Johnson (Devious Planet)


DE’VILLES, THE:
Switchblades & Heartaches: CD
Eight-song disc from this Long Island band. Seems like a group of ex-hardcore dudes lookin’ to play some rock’n’roll. The songs sound a lot like the Gotohells, or another group of Supersuckers/Social Distortion-loving rockers.  –Mike Frame (Motherbox)


DAYGLOW ABORTIONS:
Out of the Womb: LP
It’s been damn near three decades since this LP reared its ugly, fluorescent orange head. A long sought after piece of Canadian scum punk history that has finally been reissued in its original glory for all to know and love (loathe?). While the Dayglos (note: the “w” was dropped after this release) of later years may have trudged down the metallic path that many hardcore bands did in the mid ‘80s, OOTW is pure punk thrash craziness… Well, okay, there’s a bit of metal in there too (“Acting like Black Sabbath”). Most of the band’s best songs can be found here, including “Germ Attack,” “I Killed Mommy,” and “Religious Bumfucks,” to name a few. You know, after all these years it’s pretty amazing how witty, funny, and well crafted these songs are, yet they only get remembered for their crudeness. Cheers to Unrest Records for reissuing the entire back catalog on vinyl.  –Ty Stranglehold (Unrest)


DANGERMEN:
Self-titled: CD-R
This appears to be the songs from a 7” single that have been burned onto a recorded CD. A good way to save on shipping from Australia, I would imagine. This is damn good greasy Aussie garage punk for fans of The Onyas and Cosmic Psychos. Pretty solid overall, but I would prefer to hear the vinyl.  –Mike Frame (swashbucklinghobo.blogspot.com)


Daily Void:
Self-titled: 7"
Boring riffs and god damn fucking repetitive and predictable. Good lord. –Corinne  –Guest Contributor (Boom Chick)


D.O.N.D.O.N.:
Last Warning: LP
A little history here. This was originally released in Japan in 1991 and there were only 200 pressed. I’m guessing only a handful ever made it out of the country with that kind of press run, but the fine folks at Schizophrenic Records unearthed a gem. Not only do they re-release this, but they also include comp tracks to fill out this reissue. This deservingly needed to be put back out there. The distinct style of punk that this band plays is very distinctively Japanese and should be mentioned in the same breath as one of the great punk bands out of Japan like The Execute, Lip Cream, Gauze, or GISM. They thrash with fury and add that slight crossover element that was popular in that time period—almost purely manic, yet controlled with such precision. Melodic, metallic, and fast bursts of sheer power. It is a sound that makes many people obsessive about punk music from Japan; it’s a sound that is hard to duplicate if you are not from the country. You feel like your heart is about to burst but a smile overtakes your face. Such a great release that if there is an inkling of interest, you’d better act fast. I hear they were only pressing 300 on cool multi colored vinyl. There is a CD version if you snooze. –Donofthedead (Schizophrenic)


CROWD, THE:
Letter Bomb: CD
This record is a re-release of the 1996 Letter Bomb LP with the 1995 Dig Yourself EP as bonus tracks. Sooo, I never really listened to The Crowd in the past and had to get a crash course in who they were and their discography. In the end, they get my vote; this is a very solid record, catchy, poppy, with lots of bitter twists thrown into the mix. Me like. Twelve years removed from its original release, I’m sure that these tunes still stand up and sound fresh. Another very welcome release from TKO. –The Lord Kveldulfr (TKO)


CRISIS IN HOLLYWOOD:
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea: CD
Try as I might, the only thing that comes to mind when I listen to this is, “Man, these guys really wanna make it to the Warped Tour’s main stage.” I wish ’em luck.  –Jimmy Alvarado (Financial)


CRIME IN STEREO:
…Is Dead: LP
I’m hoping that the title of this album is a non-ironic reference to the timely passing of Crime In Stereo. At times, it sounds like an early ‘90s Jade Tree version of At The Drive In, only far more self-consciously earnest, with the singer doing his most heartfelt impression of the Promise Ring’s lead singer circa the time their first album came out. At others, they’re a bad DJ away from pulling off a spot-on aural replication of Incubus, which would have to stand as one of history’s greatest crimes against humanity…or, at the very least, the Razorcake readership. Is this what’s passing for hardcore these days? I thought Bridge 9 brought the fucked up, boot stompin’ brand of hardcore where mind-melting breakdowns were around every musical corner and the vocals recalled the tortured screams of suspected terrorists in the midst of a shadow government’s rendition. This sounds like a parakeet chirping in comparison.  –Josh Benke (Bridge 9)


CREOSOTE:
Life Lessons: 7"
Skip right to the second side of this crusty piece of wax. There, you’ll hear one of the most intriguing guitar sounds ever placed in this type of tune. Do you know those little door stops that are springs with a little piece of rubber on them? You know that sound they make when you accidentally hit one with your foot? That rad vibrating sound? Well, if that sound came rumbling out of a guitar, that would be what the opening riffs of the song “More than a Drinking Buddy” came from. After you listen to that part, though, you might want to turn it off, unless you’re into female vocals that sound sort of like a little girl showing up to church a day early for choir practice and deciding she should sing alone, all weak and off pitch. –MP Johnson (Music For Social Change)


CREEPS, THE:
Lakeside Cabin: CD
There’s something somewhat bittersweet about stumbling upon a long-running local band and immediately falling in love. Sure, it’s terrific that now there’s this killer band from your hometown that you’ll probably get to see all the time and you can hang out with at your dingy local bar and talk to about all the nerdy records that you both like. On the other hand, what have I been doing for the last eight years that hasn’t involved a steady diet of The Creeps? Lakeside Cabin, these boys’ third full-length record, is an insanely catchy combination of mid-period Alkaline Trio and Backchannel Broadcast-era Lillingtons with fittingly dark, creepy lyrics that (luckily) avoid any hint of horror punk cheesiness. With any luck, this band will be right at the top of the Insubordination Fest heap of pop punk bands that both the kids and the grown ups can dig. Seriously, track this shit down. –Dave Williams  –Guest Contributor (Black Pint)


COPYRIGHTS, THE:
Learn the Hard Way: CD
While I initially thought that a new record from these fellas was perhaps a little too hot-on-the-heels of last year’s Make Sound, it really only took one listen to dispel any uncertainties or preconceptions. I can easily say that this is The Copyrights’ best release to date and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that each record sheds more obvious influences than the one before it. Granted, there’s still an unshakeable sense of Illinois in this record, but it’s significantly less obvious. The choruses are bigger, the lyrics are cleverer, and it’s immediately more memorable than their previous albums, which I also loved. I’m totally blown away.  –Guest Contributor (Red Scare, www.redscare.net)


COPYRIGHTS, THE:
Learn the Hard Way: CD
This is good, even very good, modern pop punk—like eight out of ten stars. I can’t say exactly how Learn the Hard Way stacks up against the older Copyrights albums since this is the first one of their albums I’ve gotten to hear more than a couple tracks from, but this feels like a band that’s mastered their craft. The main problem is that, at times, this album feels just a little too workman-like. Everything’s pretty good, but only a few of songs rise above the fray to approach greatness and be especially memorable (those songs being “Switchblades,” “Out of Ideas,” and “On the Way Out”). This is worth picking up, but seeing as my benchmark for contemporary pop punk is The Methadones Not Economically Viable and The Ergs! Upstairs/Downstairs, there is a lot to live up to since every song on those albums is nearly perfect and full of those moments which make me glad to be alive, even if I’m feeling miserable. Learn the Hard Way is good, but it needs a few more of those all transcending moments to be great. –Adrian (Red Scare)


COPYRIGHTS, THE:
Learn the Hard Way: CD
They’ve wowed me again. This album is much more elaborate than the last one and doesn’t reek of tired melodies or stolen ideas. These guys manage to come up with new ways to reconstruct the formula they’ve created on the foundation of pop punk with every new release. On first listen, I immediately wanted to go back to the comfort of 2007’s Make Sound. But after a full two or three listens, I can’t seem to take Learn the Hard Way out of the CD player. This band is the bees knees, and they are currently talking about coming out with a split CD with the Methadones soon. I can’t wait. This album is highly recommended.  –Mr. Z (Redscare)


COPYRIGHTS, THE:
Learn the Hard Way: CD
I’ll admit, this is one of those bands I got into much later than everyone else for whatever reason, but I’ve become well aware of this by now, and made sure to pick this up as soon as they came around. Before they’ve had the whole “distinct pop punk without being generic,” with the last record building on that, this one feels a bit darker, with just a touch of F.Y.P. style thrash to it (just slightly though, as they’re still tight as ever). I like this quite a bit.  –Joe Evans III (Red Scare, www.redscare.net)


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