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· 1:Razorcake #79 Now Available
· 2:#307 with Mitch Clem
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· 5:Record Reviews in Razorcake #79


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Record Reviews

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TIME FLIES, THE:
The In Crowd: 7”
This band would fit into a genre that I would like to call “plural rock.” Plural rock is music made by bands with names like The Stinkies or The Greasies or The Porknobs or The Toilets or something that always ends in “s.” You can be pretty much assured by the sound of the band name that they are or going to be an umpteenth generation retread of a rock’n’roll, punk, or garage rock band. I usually write bands like this off based on their name alone. Hell, if I miss out on a good band in the process, my loss right? But from my understanding, the cream rises to the top and I’ll find out about the good shit eventually. Anyway, this isn’t really that bad of a record or anything, it’s just... plural rock. –Craven (Douchemaster)


TIGERSHARK / THANK GOD:
Split: 12”

Thank God: Hey, let’s walk down the hall of this practice studio. Behind the first door, we’ll hear pummeling, violent hardcore. What’s this down the hall? A guy practicing Iron Maiden bass lines? Okay…Then his neighbor is doing creaky, country moans over some Blind Joe Death guitars? Rad. And at the end of the hall is someone blasting that old Southeast Hardcore Fuck Yeah comp and crying over it. Cool. I’d be happy to take that walk again. Tigershark: What if you and your buds got all hyped up and decided “No, we really can push through this concrete wall?” Then when the cinderblocks fell on your head and didn’t hurt, someone yelled “I just thought of the song title of a lifetime! ‘He’s Not a Bartender, He’s an Artist!’” and everyone went “Too true, man. Too true.”

Terrific cover art from Ryan MacLennan. One gripe: A 10” on 45? Come on guys. Just do a 7”. Al Gore is pissed. –CT Terry –Guest Contributor (Molsook)


THOMAS FUNCTION:
My Empire: 7”
The best band you’re currently sleeping on. Off kilter, somewhat dancey, garagey rock that recalls the best parts of ‘70s, Lou Reed, and Brian Eno. They’re able to toss all that in a blender and actually pour out something worth while and relevant. I’ve been going relatively crazy over this band for the last year or so and it makes me feel like I’m jumping up and down on a chair in the middle of a crowded room and no one is fucking paying attention. Wake up motherfuckers. Alabama has birthed something you’d never expect to rise from its back woods. I’m thinking this situation is going to change in 2008. These guys have a full length coming out on Alive Records at some point. –Steveo (Black Owl Radio)


THIS MOMENT IN BLACK HISTORY:
It Takes a Nation of Assholes to Hold Us Back: LP
TMIBH has the versatility and intensity of Rites Of Spring, the political/social conscience of Dillinger Four, and have the ability to just bring it harder than 99.9 percent of the entire world’s population (Sweden included). If Trial By Fire’s Ringing in the Dawn had been recorded by Steve Albini and they really wanted to stir things up it—might have been this album. It Takes A Nation… is an adventure of an LP traveling through the American Midwest with heavy, yet fluid, guitars as your guides and the occasional sound effect just making the trip even more interesting. If there ever was the perfect combination of passionate DC hardcore with Midwest garage-punk, this could probably be it. This record came out last year and is now available on vinyl through X-Mist Records. –Daryl Gussin (X-Mist)


TEENERS, THE:
Self-titled: 7”
The oddest experience I’ve had is getting a body cast taken off. Since its fiberglass, they use a saw that is insanely loud and terrifying yet doesn’t cut your skin—wtf? Who made that and why can’t every saw do that? Strange. Time came to get it off, and, of course, the epitome of hot nurse is assigned to do it. So I’m naked in a body cast that goes from chest to waist and down one leg, otherwise I’m hanging free. Sadly, my Dad insisted on being part of the fascinating process. Gotta see everything, huh Dad? How else will you learn? So Dad sat there quietly as said hot nurse pushes a saw all over my body cast and frees me in what should have been my learning experience alone. Weird. The buzzsaw, the awkwardness, The Teeners understand. –Speedway Randy (Super Secret)


SWANN DANGER:
Deep North: CD
I wish I could tell you that this is a very good impression of a Siouxsie And The Banshees record. Unfortunately, it’s not. –Sean Koepenick (Custody Night School)


SUZANNE’SILVER:
The Crying Mary: CD
Remember that time when the members of Shellac, Slint, and Battles all got together and had that big sex orgy? Well, someone wasn’t using protection because a bastard child has been found; named Suzanne’Silver. For some reason, it’s Italian but, thankfully, it’s speaking in English just like its parents, thus making it a little easier for me to understand, although all it does is yell most of the time, so it’s still somewhat hard to interpret. I think it’s safe to say that even if none of the parents take responsibility, Suzanne’Silver is still a child that any of them should be proud to call their own. –Kurt Morris (Radio Is Down)


SUPREME COMMANDER / ALIVE AT LAST:
Split: CD
This full-length split CD from the New Jersey punk and hardcore scene presents Supreme Commander and Alive At Last as an antidote to the egos and attitudes of pretentious, posturing “false punk.” Supreme Commander claims the first six tracks with the kind of straightforward, no-nonsense hardcore that begs for a circle pit and lots of shouting-along. Alive At Last brings up the rear with six more tracks of we-mean-business hardcore, but fear not: their business is fun. The bands are well matched and the split is definitely worth the listen. –Sarah Shay –Guest Contributor (Bishop19)


STUKAS OVER BEDROCK:
Back to the Stone Age: LP
L.A.’s punk scene has definitely had its share of quirky punk bands. Sure, there was that whole art-punk scene in Pasadena that included Human Hands, Monitor, BPeople and the Child Molesters, but I’m talking more about the out-and-out punk bands who delivered tuneage just a little more off-kilter than, say, Black Flag, specifically bands like Detox, Artistic Decline, Love Canal, and the band currently under discussion. Stukas Over Bedrock scored a minor KROQ hit— way back when the station was still accessible to local bands and not the big, crappy corporate behemoth it is now—with “Life Like Yogi.” I remember Rodney, in particular, playing it quite often for a while there. “Yogi” leads off this disc, as do their EP’s other two tracks, “Sex Thing” and “Bedrock Bedlam,” and the remaining eleven tracks on this compendium of early recordings are filled with their unique brand of simple yet effective thud-punk beats, sarcastic wit, and sometimes odd lyrical images (“You buttfuck your muffler/and you breathe exhaust...”). Choice cuts: the Flipperesque “Four Bucks” and the thrash cover of Pink Floyd’s “Careful with That Axe, Eugene.” Was nice hearing these guys again. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.punkrecords.com)


STARLA! UBIQUITOUS:
A New Train of Thought: Cassette
“Ubiquitous” is defined, so says my battered copy of Webster’s 9th, as “existing or being everywhere at the same time.” While that sort of multifaceted quality may be true in, I don’t know, this woman’s personal life or her emotional canon or whatever, her sonic output exists firmly within the walls of folk music. I’m sure she’s just thrilled with what will probably be yet another Ani Difranco comparison to her stuff, but that’s a lot of what I’m hearing, I’d say somewhere around the first self-titled record and Not a Pretty Girl. Another reference would be Kaia’s stuff (mostly in the vocals), at least the live material I’ve heard. It’s very laid-back, very calm—I enjoyed the fact that there are a few moments of her and the engineer dude talking and laughing in between songs, giving it a very honest, “get it down in one take” feel. I’d say the one drawback (and this is where the ubiquity does more damage than help) is the song “Obsessive Compulsive Love Song”: it’s a sarcastic take on unhealthy relationships, and its cynicism clumsily flies in the face of the rest of the record’s hopeful, joyful, politics-are-personal tone. All in all though, rest of the album shines pretty nicely. –Keith Rosson (Sharpie Fumes)


STAAGS!:
Robot: Cassette
Leave it to a pretentious Memphis garage rock band to put out a sloppy cassette single recorded on a 4-track in 2007. It’s comforting to find a band this intentionally un-tight allowing others to hear their home recordings. Lower than lo-fi, this tape has a retro appeal factor due to the old school demo format. This cassette is limited to just one hundred copies and the label’s other two releases are already long gone. Garage collectors will surely want to subject themselves to these shenanigans. –Art Ettinger (Don’t Hit Record!, http://www.myspace.com/dhrrecords)


SOUL MERCHANTS:
1985-1987: 2 x CD
What i have been given to review is actually a promo-only one disc redux of the actual two-disc retail release. By all applicable Razorcake by-laws, this technically disqualifies it for review. Under ordinary circumstances, i would be charitable and overlook this transgression. I can assure you these are not normal circumstances. BEST SONG: “Save My Soul” BEST SONG TITLE: “Cold Dark Bed” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “In a day where neo goth bands and neo psych bands are doing well, it seems appropriate to revisit Denver’s only psychedelic death rock outfit.” Uh, if YOU say so, Stoney... –Rev. Norb (Smooch)


SOMETHING FIERCE / HANGOUTS, THE:
Split: 7”
Both of these Houston bands play a once mainline brand of punk that recently has been relegated back to the underground. The end result is fun as hell. Not liking this fast, melodic punk record would be akin to not liking to smile. Niki S., who plays bass and does backing vocals for Something Fierce, provides killer female vocals for The Hangouts, who are harder than Something Fierce but just as catchy. It’s records like these that stomp the jaded right out of me and take me back to the basement show vitality that made me jump up and down for the first time back in the day. Easily one of the best fucking records of the year. –Art Ettinger (Manic Attack!!!)


SOCIETY HIGH:
Leave the Gun, Take the Cannoli: CD
Punk rock out of upstate New York that has an early ‘80s punk sound. Reminds me of bands like Secret Hate or the Nip Drivers. Also taking sounds from bands like Screeching Weasel, H2O, or Bouncing Souls. Melodic, mid-tempo three fingers in the air punk rock with a feel of fun. –Donofthedead (Whiskey Shot)


SMITH WESTERNS, THE:
Demo: CD-R
It’s that one local band that can’t figure out how to write a song without using some phrase that was hilariously clever when you were nine years old. (Underwear jokes? Hell yeah!) Of course, I can only really guess what they’re singing about. All I have to judge off is song titles. Now, I’m no genius, but my guess is that “Sticky Panties” isn’t a metaphor for the never-ending class war that plagues our world. One positive thing: hand drawn cover. Thumbs up for that! –Bryan Static (Self-released)


SLOW GUN SHOGUN:
Self-titled: CD-R
Slow Gun Shogun is a very ambitious one-man-band project from a Chicago-based musician and journalist listed here as “AJ.” AJ comes from a punk and sludge metal background, but in Slow Gun Shogun he plays rough, raw original country. This demo comes highly recommended, especially for fans of Southern fried punk in the vein of Hellstomper or Hammerlock. Listening to these killer tracks feels like driving home from a hardcore show in Memphis, then ending up in a country bar across the border in Arkansas. –Art Ettinger (www.myspace.com/slowgunshogun)


SILENCE IS SAFETY:
Self-titled: CDEP
Female-led band that kind of reminded me of a cross between Tsunami Bomb at times, then others, maybe the Dollyrots. More in the rock vein with hints of punk. Vocals are pushed a little too much for my liking. They come off too bright and piercing and, at times, either off-key or off-beat. With the vocals pulled back and rearranging how they are sung, it would be an easier listen. –Donofthedead (Teeno)


SICK E’S:
Whispers: 7” EP
Gloomy death rock/punk stuff, emphasis on the “punk,” more along the lines of 45 Grave than Christian Death. –Jimmy Alvarado (Going Underground)


SHOT BAKER:
Awake: CD
Straight ahead punk rock from this Chicago four piece: great melodies, tight chops, and thoughtful songwriting. This band takes bits of what other bands from their city blazed a dark trail with but add their own identity into it. “Friendship” and “Bred to Be Perfectionists” stick on this platter, but all the songs have their strengths. Let’s put it this way kids—would Naked Raygun take this band out on tour unless they brought it? I think not. –Sean Koepenick (Underground Communique)


SHOREBIRDS:
Self-titled: 7”
Over the summer I set up a show for two Olympia bands who were touring with tapes that they had made. Tapes? I’m not a fan so I was pretty glad to see this DIY release come in from Olympia on vinyl. Shorebirds play melodic punk that’s less poppy than Delay, but poppier than Witches With Dicks. Think of a less smart-ass Bent Outta Shape. Contains ex-members of Jawbreaker and the Latterman, which could explain why it’s such a solid release. –Daryl Gussin (Shore Birds)


SHAM 69:
Hollywood Hero: CD
I ain’t gonna get into the semantics of whether this is or isn’t a release by the “real” Sham 69 ‘cause, frankly, I’m more interested in it being good than whether Jimmy Pursey’s singing or not. That said, it definitely sounds like Sham—the good Sham, mind you. Whoever Dave got to take Jimmy’s place does a fairly good impersonation of him, delivering the lyrics (the bulk of which were apparently written by Jimmy before he, um, departed) with just the right mixture of venom, conviction, and harmony. The rest of the band sound top notch, resulting in one of the better Sham releases I’ve heard since their “classic” period. If “I Want Glory” and “I Don’t Believe a Word” are any indication, they might actually do all right without Jimmy, as both tracks are quite solid in their own right. –Jimmy Alvarado (www.sosrecords.us)


SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN:
At the Poles: CD

Phoenix, Arizona produced this punchy, indie post punk band. They remind of the ‘90s-era stuff like Trenchmouth, Nation Of Ulysses (a bit), minus the spazzed-out vocals, and

with more solid driving tendencies like Jesus Lizard. Although this isn’t quite up to par with those bands, they definitely lean in that direction. It’s good to see that post punk is alive and well today, harnessing the intensity we all grew up with. –Buttertooth (Thick)


SERVICE GROUP:
Principals of Electronic Circuitry: CD
The first song has that riff The Cult built itself on. And so does the fourth or fifth song. Just can’t do it. –Speedway Randy (Squid Vs Whale)


SERGEANT:
Midnight to Midnight: CD
I’m a bit of a sucker for spacey music with female vocals. I grew up digging PJ Harvey and admit to having a fondness to Opium Den and Midnight Movies’ music. This band reminds me a little of both those bands. This isn’t quite as original, though. These guys hail from S.F. I think they’re at their best when it leans to the darker and heavier side of their sound. More droning and dissonant chords, less Tori Amos and more Siouxie. Worth trying out, though. –Buttertooth (Self-released)


SCURVIES, THE:
Nightprowler: CD
I’m usually not privy to Alaskan punk rock—think the last bands I heard were Skate Death and the Clyng-Onz back in the ‘80s —so seeing this in the review pile was a bit of a surprise. Pretty solid meat and potatoes punk rock here, mostly mid-tempo with catchy chorus bits and loud guitars. While it took a while to grow on me, some flashes of greatness and the promise of future brilliance are in evidence. Hafta say that a little more chutzpah and audaciousness in both the writing and delivery would push ‘em onto the filet mignon tray, but in all, this ain’t too shabby. –Jimmy Alvarado (Boot to Head)


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