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Record Reviews

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Baby It’s Over: CD
Rock'n'roll band with a bit of ‘60s influence added in to keep things interesting, which seems a moot effort considering how totally uninteresting this is. –Jimmy Alvarado (Licorice Tree)

Back to the World: CD
I got hit by a promotions person a couple of years ago to review a live show by this band. I responded by saying, “I don’t like to go see bands I have no idea about. Send me a CD. I will think about it after I hear it.” Well, that CD was the Savin Hill record. Man, the first thing I thought was, “Dad name, I hope the music isn’t.” I was thinking the vocalist sounded familiar. It’s Mike McColgan, who used to sing for the Dropkick Murphys. Well, the music was superb: melodic street punk that was heartfelt and yet urgent. The track titled “Fighter” is one I still listen to. Here is their sophomore effort and that can always go two ways. The first album was a fluke and the second is terrible or it will be as good or better than the first. This is the latter. They continue on with great songs that are enjoyable and can be listened to over and over. The Celtic and reggae/dub track didn’t get under my skin. If you can handle an acoustic track, the last track has a lot emotion and seems sincere. Glad to see that they are on the right track. –Donofthedead (Brass Tracks)

On Your Video: 7”
I think these tracks (one long one and two on the other side) were recorded during the same time as the full-length. It has a similar sound, which I’m not as fond of as the other 7”s. Now, this is the Tyrades, so it’s damn good. There’s just a lot less going on sound-wise in this recording, and I just feel like I’m missing out a little. It also feels a little choppier than other recordings, but still a solid 7” worth picking up if you’ve already heard them and want more. Just not the record I’d start someone out on. –Megan Pants (Smart Guy)

On Your Video: 7”
Lotsa people have said that the Tyrades are more of a singles band, like they’re more suited for a 7” rather than an LP. I don’t understand. What the fuck does that mean? The full-length is seventeen minutes long. Yeah, man, nine songs by one of the best bands out there is total fucking overkill. Anyway, this is single number six and it’s great, great stuff. The title song is a completely fucked, snarling mid-tempo dirge that sounds like the record is warped; it’s a beautiful thing. The two songs on the flip are more of the raw, manic, on-the-verge-of-falling-apart variety that’s made the Tyrades, well, not exactly famous, but at least popular amongst people who would be attracted to a band that puts out seventeen-minute full-lengths. They should go on tour soon. –Josh (Smart Guy)

It’s Not That We Don’t Love You, It’s Just That We Don’t Care: CD-R EP
A treble-saturated squall of Finnish bashing around vaguely reminding me of Los Ass-Draggers in that globally-prized Red Bull™-quaffing manner specific to the rabid European malcontent! CD contains four songs but lyrics to seven, including this gem from the lamentably absent “Uppsala Hippie Commune”: “You believe that frolic is hash / We believe in Darby Crash.” As High Enlightenment, this stuff’s got a ways to go, but as far as a quick shot of pure exhilaration goes, it’s certainly way better than that new Budweiser™ crap with the caffeine in it. “Take the Danish brownies out of your rectum.” BEST SONG: “Ridge Forrester” BEST SONG TITLE: I’ll go with “Uppsala Hippie Commune” for twenty, Alex. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: DEN SOM LISTAR UT TEXTEN TILL JUST A WAR VINNER EN DÖNNERDATE MED VALFRI UNABOMBERSMEDLEM. –Rev. Norb ()

Nostalgia Del Buio: 2 X CD
Nostalgia Del Buio isn’t just some record label sampler or a bunch of crappy leftovers from recordings. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. This double disc of forty-three (!) previously unreleased songs is a true labor of love, realized as a collaborative effort between Jessie Eva (The Vanishing) and Manuel Gutierrez (Cochon Records’ head honcho), and mostly spotlights the happening-right-now and hot-to-trot Bay area music scene. I’d love to mention all the bands, and tell you just how fucking good nearly every song on this monster release is, but there simply isn’t enough room. What you should know, though, is that this CD is an essential addition to your collection, and if you love the Phantom Limbs, New Collapse (as they once were), the Husbands, Lost Sounds, Kill Me Tomorrow, Von Iva, Glass Candy et al., you’ll feel like you’ve struck gold. Go online to see if one of your favorite bands is spotlighted here. Chances are, there’ll be at least a few. Spectacular! –Kat Jetson (Cochon)

Tune Out the Static: CD
Punk has become so fragmented that each scene does not support one another. Case in point: this band falls under the twenty-one-and-over bar punk scene. A kid with patches on his or her hooded sweatshirt would probably not be into this. The average guy who actually has seen Black Flag and goes out once a month to drink beers with old buddies would go see this band. Even though this band, I believe, hails from Virginia, they have a very beach punk, SoCal sound with mid tempo numbers that have a drunk snottiness to them. They hold their own musically and aren’t half bad. Better enjoyed live than at home, in my opinion. –Donofthedead (Stations)

Red, White, and Dead!: CD
I love music that, even when you’re sitting in the softish nice confines of your domicile, you are made to feel like you are in the middle of the pit, bashing into other euphoric cavemen and feeling your blood copulate with the obscene amounts of alcohol in your system. Even though it’s all conjured with electric guitars and whatnot, it is a joy that is atavistic and pure. This is surging political hardcore that has some of the same energy and the slight metal edge of Total Chaos at their best. I don’t know how long Star Strangled Bastards have existed as a band, but I’m going to guess that I can thank the stumblefucks in the plutocracy currently reigning over this country (aka: Dubya, Cheney, et al) for the inspiration behind this slab of spleen-venting rage. More and more I’m thinking you can’t go wrong with anything on Rodent Popsicle. –aphid (Rodent Popsicle)

The Gospel According to: CD
Anthemic punk rock along the lines of Cocksparrer, though not quite as interesting or memorable. –Jimmy Alvarado (Radio Blast)

She Like Electric: CD
This drum and keys sister duo of pre-teens are playing and writing better songs that three quarters of the self-important and “vital” bands out there. The collection of songs on this release is so chock full of fun and creativity that it’s no wonder the band has already played shows with Sleater-Kinney and Death Cab for Cutie. Adorable without being cutesy, light-hearted without being fluffy, and smart without wondering if it was someone else who wrote the songs… Smoosh are deserving of your attention, and not just for novelty’s sake. The only bummer? You probably won’t be seeing them play live until school’s out and they’re on summer vacation. –Kat Jetson (Pattern 25)

The Problem with Rock and Roll: CD
“The problem with rock and roll is the girls don’t like it anymore. Yeooow! [Guitar solo]” Well, if these guys are the ones making it, I can’t say that I blame the girls. –Megan Pants (Record Records)

Through the Opaque Air: CD
The placement of the bass way up in the mix results in an occasional early Cocteau Twins feel, but for the most part this comes off like the Cranberries bucking for a funeral gig. Not too terrible on the whole, but the minimalist quality of both song structure and instrumentation fails to gel more often than not. –Jimmy Alvarado (Stroll)

Live at the Magic Bag: CD
If you’re like me and you’re “road worn and weary” from the inhumane amounts of emo bilge that’s backed up and is spilling over everywhere, then this might be the disc for you. These Supersucker boys don’t wear their welschmertz on their sweater sleeves nor do they recoil at the sound of a simple power chord. They are not anguished milksops reciting couplets from their diaries while wearing “What Would Morrissey Do” wristbands. Far from it. In fact, they might just be self-centered dicks. If they have a self-conscious, over-sensitive hair on their bodies, then it’s buried in a crease somewhere that doesn’t see the light of day much. These are grubby rock’n’roll reprobates of the first order; they are a cross between the business side of Gene Simmons’ codpiece, Evel Knievel and something that fell out of Joey Ramone’s pant leg (when he was still around to have things fall out of his pant legs, that is.) This is a straight shot of swaggering Rock with a capital “R”—the bastard child of an unholy three-way tryst between ‘70s style arena rock, stripped-down punk and a spittoonful of outlaw country. Like all good sex shows, it’s a concoction that’s best taken live. And live this is—twenty-two tracks (counting a fake encore) of catchy, dirty, honest music that’ll kick up the dust and stir up your lust for drink and drugs and misrule. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Eddie Spaghetti and the boys somehow manage, time and time again, to sustain this impossible balance between being struttin’ cock rockers and being no-bullshit punk rockers and, most impressively, they come across as being absolutely genuine when they do it. Plus, they seem to genuinely have a helluva a good time, to boot. It’s cool what you can accomplish when you don’t take yourself so tight-ass seriously. –aphid (Mid-Fi)

1382 The Persian New Wave: Underground out of the Islamic Republic of Iran: LP
Iran hasn't been successful in winning the war on its black-market trading or Internet downloads, but it has pretty much outlawed music as a whole, so it is not surprising for one to assume that a country whose fundamentalist religious leaders have called Shakira "devil music," would have no punk scene whatsoever. Ten-year-old Tian An Men Records has disproved these assumptions, however. This label has been dedicated to pressing truly underground punk music from around the world (Kosovo, Madagascar, soon Iraq) for years, and they’ve put out yet another gem. This 12" comp has music that is so underground that the only place to play, practice, or record this stuff would be in the bedroom. Ah, the true essence of punk: 100 percent DIY. Ranging from garage to pop to satanic-sounding punk tunes, the music is all over the place, but in no way a turn off. Rest assured, when you get this not only are you buying a piece of history (THE FIRST EVER IRANIAN PUNK RELEASE), but you'll get a kick out of the originality and ingenuity of the bands (most of whom are probably using ancient equipment their fathers and mothers had purchased before the religious upheaval of the ‘70s!). I also found it interesting that the guy behind Tian An Men is a French Red Cross relief worker who has worked in Kurdistan, Iran, and Afghanistan—among other countries—and the many cities he’s lived in are where he’s encountered the punks whose music he’s helped share with the rest of the world. –Mr. Z (Tian An Men 89)

Freedom Kills: CD
These guys have been dead in the water for me way before I have received this CD for review. I have heard stories about this band from many credible people here in Los Angeles that have been around a long time. It just left a bad taste in my mouth. The appearance is another thing. They always looked like they were put together too perfectly. The uniform of leather and studs. The spiked hair perfectly proportioned. Poster children for cartoon punks. The promo pictures looked like they were professionally done for a glam metal band. I have been at records stores and heard their output, but not enough to pay attention or shell out my hard-earned cash. Since this is sitting in front of me, I have to take a hard listen. I hate to admit it, but this release is pretty good. Sure, I can pull out the GBH, Conflict, Exploited and Motörhead references in their songs, but this time around, they play it well. The production is better than what most bands that play this style ever get to record in. With the raving comes my negativity. The packaging is way too professional looking and over-photoshopped and trying too hard to look authentically punk. It looks like they are specifically targeting the Hot Topic/Warped Tour crowd. Well... maybe they are. The cover of the Misfits’ “Attitude” was subpar. They should have stayed away from that one. Not musically their style. Also the cover of Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” is total cheese. If they wanted to be a glam metal band, they can just put their hair down and put on some makeup. I didn’t find it fun or funny. –Donofthedead (S.O.S.)

Fendi: CDEP
Fuzzy, heavily synthesized, and terribly dramatic goth rock that sounds like it was recorded in Siouxsie Sioux’s trash can. –Kat Jetson (Hungry Eye)

Gearing Up for Getting Down: CD
It would be so rad if they’d make their video next to a pool because then hi-jinks could ensue! Ringer-T pop-punk complete with strategically cropped shots of the one chubby dude with man-tits. –Megan Pants (Sucka-Punch)

Burning Farm: CD
A record originally released in ‘83 (with extra live tracks from ’84) by cute Japanese ladies who can barely play, and when in doubt, they sing the parts to cat food commercials: “Meow, meow, meow, meow.” And when the words are formed, it’s quaint stuff, like, “Heart is pitpat and dancing.” Fun, easy-to-listen-to, proto-bubblegum stuff that requires absolutely no thought at all and can be played when parents or authority figures are listening in. –Todd Taylor (Oglio)

SHAM 69:
Punk Singles Collection 1977-80: CD
Cleopatra released this collection of Sham's singles some years back (and they no doubt licensed it from somewhere else). Captain Oi has taken it, purtied it all up, added a few more tracks that were left off of the Cleopatra version, and sent it back out into the world. All the big hits are here, twenty-six in all, from "If the Kids are United" to "Hurry Up Harry," plus some rarities, like "What Have We Got," which was only available as a freebie given out at their shows. If by some fluke of nature you've never heard a single Sham song, this is the perfect place to dive in. –Jimmy Alvarado (Captain Oi)

2004 Sampler: CD-R
So, what would you say the odds would be that, two days in a row, i receive two completely different CD-R’s in the mail, and both CD-R’s contain the song “Put Anotha Rekkid On” by the Sex Robots? I guess if you’re not a total douchebag, the odds are actually pretty good! In any event, it’s been a while since i listened to any Sludgeworth or Naked Raygun, but those seem to be the associations these three songs are provoking (if i really wanted to be analytical, i might play this back to back with a Jawbreaker record, but, since Jawbreaker, unlike the Sex Robots, suck, i have no experimentational materials of a Jawbreakerly nature in my Rock Lab) (nor do i intend to obtain any). Pop-punk which is neither particularly happy nor angry, nor, for that matter, particularly poppy, and appears to be the better for the absence of all three. Fuckin’ STAUNCH. Not that this is the first time i’ve ever said this, but I NEEDMORE SEX ROBOTS! BEST SONG: “Put Anotha Rekkid On” BEST SONG TITLE: “Put Anotha Rekkid On” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” is a really stupid song. –Rev. Norb (Roadhouse Tunes)

Hashish: CD
I bought a Satelliters record what feels to be about ten years ago, and the only thing i really remember about it was that it looked way cooler than it sounded. Hashish, however, filed under “Psychedelic Garage Punk” as the cover requires, actually sounds about as good as it looks: I am unsure as to whether this calls for a pat on the back for the band, a kick in the pants for the graphic designer, or, as a mere example of regression to the mean, none of the above. Be that as it may, although i quite understand why many people gravitate toward That Which Is To Be Filed Under Psychedelic Garage Punk—i mean, it’s kind of a fun aesthetic, what with all the inherent promises of “BIKINI GIRLS! CHELSEA GIRLS! PSYCHEDELIC GIRLS!” and cool lettering and Riots on Sunset Strips and what-not—i’ve always thought that the universe’s existing reserves of this music were far in excess of my projected lifetime demand for it, so, like, ah, why bother? I personally can scrape by quite nicely by merely spinning a Pebbles or Nuggets type collection every so often, and therefore have no pressing need to cram my dome with covers of We the People’s “You Byrn Me Up and Down” and songs with titles like “1969—The End of Time,” but if you’re looking for this kind of thing, i think you’ve found it. BEST SONG: “Anything I Do” BEST SONG TITLE: Against my better judgement, “1969—The End of Time.” But isn’t it supposed to be “Tyme?” FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: Band conveniently provides French language version of “Wham Bam Thank You Mam” for those of you whose pent-up demand for Small Faces covers en Français was not slaked by Plastic Bertrand’s 1978 version of “Sha La La La Lee.” –Rev. Norb (Dionysus)

A Healthy Distrust: CD
The beats are good, and the man certainly has some rhyming skills and a smooth flow, but I kept thinkin’ “Eminem’s whiny little brother” when I listened to him ask God not to take any more of his friends, and a couple more songs elicited the same response. In short, this is quasi-socially conscious hip-hop that misses the mark a little too often. –Jimmy Alvarado (Epitaph)

The S’cool Girls EP: CDEP
What we have here is a six-song offering of pure Revlon Rock; an infectious, unapologetic serving of good timey glam punk replete with bangs, false eyelashes and lipsticked pouts. This is basically a cheeky melange of early ‘70s glammy cock rockers like the New York Dolls, Sweet and T Rex. Picture the Alice Cooper Band without the guillotines and the boa constrictors and the songs about dead people. It’s a formula—like fat guys walking into sliding glass doors—that never gets old. Good catchy clean fun. –aphid (Intravenous)

Giggidagiggidagiggida!: CDEP
How many Ramones-influenced pop punk bands are there? I know, I know. But, how many of them do you actually find listening to over and over again? Yes, this is covered ground, but it’s worth a listen or twenty. The main vocals are damn near perfect for the style—not even a hint of the whine that a lot of pop punk bands seem to think works. Everything is pulled together tightly. The vocal harmonies are incorporated into the songs in a manner not overly bubblegum-ish. Plus, the last of four songs is“We’re from Haddonfield,” and horror movie references are one of the many paths into my musical heart. –Megan Pants (Punkhead)

Fulltime: CD
I got a little bored during the first song and said to myself, “I think I should floss my teeth.” Lucky for me, I had put the CD in my portable player. So, I walked to the bathroom and grabbed the floss. Then I walked back to my desk and sat down and started to floss. I appreciated its minty aftertaste. I walked back to the bathroom and put the floss box back, but kept flossing. Feeling much fresher, I threw out the floss. By the time I looked down, I was on track six. That’s how interesting this is. –Megan Pants (Arclight)

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